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The Moviequill

very informative post, thanks again... what you suggested to do in the date/restaurant scenario, change it up trying different views/stabs at it is exactly what we need to do more of. Not get set on one specific scene construction


Every time I read your column it makes me want to go back to writing screenplays.

So I'm going to have to quit reading your column.


Moviequill: Great Minds Think Alike Dept. -- I enjoyed your post on styles of screenwriting.

JJ: Don't you see? Don't you get it? Living the RomCom was put on earth specifically to harrass and torture you, so you're terminally obligated to keep reading it.


Well, if those are the rules, okay, but I'd like to speak to your supervisor just to make sure.


Awesome post Billy. Just printed it off, will be re-reading it often.

I'm one of the frustrated writers, who thinks he's got some great stories, but for reasons unknown I can't place in contest so... when the pros have anyting thing to say about spec. script format, I'm all ears.

I fall into the category of writers who consciousl use filmic tecniques to replicate the filmmaking experience the read. And some this came from the pros. Ever heard of a guy named, Christopher Riley? He wrote "The Hollywood Standard: the Complete and Authoritative Guide to Script format and style." That book is filled with filmic lingo, which I was under the impression was acceptable by those in the inddustry. I wrote 3 script his book as my bible...

Anyway, if you're read Christopher's book I'd love to hear your opion of it.

I never wrote a single script to show anyone up. I went into each scipt with the belief that it was my job to lay out the vision the best I knew how, then hope it caught the fancy of someone in the industry.

Anyway, your post made me wax nostalgic for my days in the Catholic chruch. In this case, your my priest, and this is my confessional.

Lately I've been trying to change my ways intune with a technique Karl Iglesias' calls "vertical writing." Still don't know viewer's superior postion factors into that...

Like say you had a comedy scene and its gag is having someone slip on a banna peal, and in the filmed vision you want the camera to go back to the bannnana to build up antisipation for the final comedic slip. Now you could go about that in manner of way: a series of CLOSEUP - BANANNA, then have O.S. dilalog, you simly say BANANNA, or you could write a line of description. "And the bannanna lays there waiting, waiting..."

I dunno. Would love to go to your class, Billy. Sounds like fun. But I'm up here in WA and we've got a little game to watch this Sunday - GO HAWKS!

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA


LOL i don't know why... but I immedietly thought of PT and his scripts when you mentioned camera blocking and whatnot.

...I'm just happy you mentioned the Coen Bro's!



Are you talking about something like this? Or did I botch it?

A hard driving rain beats its lonely staccato against the windows.

Kelli leans against the window frame and stares blindly into the darkness. It’s almost as black as her mood.

The low moan of a Blues singer wails misery into the night.

One partially melted ice cube clinks against the tumbler as Kelli absently drains the remainder of her drink.


E.C. -- Yup, "and the banana lays there waiting" -- is the approach I'm advocating. Know of the Riley, but haven't read him...

Welcome Chaz. Let's face it, the Coens rule.

WriterGurl: "Almost as black as her mood" is great scene painting, and: Melted cube = close-up. That's what I'm talkin' 'bout!!!

Stephen Gallagher

And you know, of course, that when you're writing at the top of your game, that the director will be praised for his/her story choices, sense of structure, use of evocative imagery, and narrative pacing, while you'll be lucky if you get a nod for the odd one-liner that sticks in the critic's mind... and which someone else probably threw in at the last minute.


YeeHAW! I didn't botch it then! Cool.

Thanks for the feedback and if I were in LA, I'd SO be in your class.

Btw, enjoying your Rom/Com book!


Novel in movie drag. Brilliant. As for the rest, I suddenly feeling like the preacher was reading my mail so I'm rushing to a screenwriting confessional to repent.

Not to be too nit picky here on a reply (I yam what I yam), but Writergurl, how can she "absently" drain it?


Welcome Stephen! That is so sad but absolutely true... the one consolation being, I suppose, that writers who deliver "just add water and direct" screenplays do tend to get hired (to be unsung again)...

WriterG, glad the book be floatin' your boat.

MaryAn: Screenwriting confessional... hmmm... throw in some booze and lapdancers, and you could do very well with one of those on Hollywood Boulevard.


MA, From

1. Not present; missing: absent friends; absent parents.
2. Not existent; lacking: a country in which morality is absent.
3. Exhibiting or feeling inattentiveness: an absent nod.

#3 is what I'm talking 'bout.


More to the point:


adv : in an absent-minded or preoccupied manner; "he read the letter absently" [syn: abstractedly, inattentively, absentmindedly]

Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University


Writergurl: cool, vivid scene, really liked the line, "The low moan of a Blues singer wails misery into the night."
Keep up the good work!


ECH... Thanks!


Radical post


Excellent writing really appreciated & relevant!

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